Terpenes For Dummies

By Brittany Morgan Williams

Terpenes: What makes your weed smell and taste so tongue watering-ly yummy. To elaborate, the terpenes are resiny oils that protect the plant and make your Purple Kush smell and taste, well, purple. They’re not just found in weed plants, but in most trees, flowers, and even some insects. They came into existence as an evolutionary tactic to fend off potential predators. Don’t depend entirely on your nose for the full measure of the terpenes- different curing and growing practices may belie the actual level of CBD and THC.

Who doesn’t like to smell your bud before taking a toke? It’s like sniffing a nice glass of wine before putting it to your lips, delighting all the senses. Remember, these oils can affect one in different ways, especially depending on the potency and type of terpene. They’ve recently been put through an intense amount of study as they have been found to have psychoactive compounds that may be used medicinally. There are several hundred different types of terpenes, but below, I’ve detailed my top 3 favorite terpenes for you to keep an eye out for.


This is one of my faves because it reminds me a lot of my favorite beer, Shock Top, and it helps with my anxiety. This terpene has a long list of other medicinal applications as well, including being anti-cancerous, neuroprotective (helping to slow any damage to the nervous system), antidepressant, prevent diabetes and work as an antioxidant. I found some Purple Wreck that, along with being super potent, smells and tastes just like hops!


Now, this one I like a lot because it smells and tastes very strongly of citrus and is a truly fabulous medicine. I’m allergic to lemons, so I feel a bit like I’m walking on the wild side every time I take a toke, followed by a very pleasant aftertaste. This terpene specializes in helping with weight loss, depression, improve skin clarity, and has been proven to prevent and help treat certain cancers. This is a very popular terpene and can be found in almost every strain that has ‘Lemon,’ ‘Sour,’ or ‘Lime’ in the name. Sour Diesel was the strain that popped my weed cherry, so I have a deep love for it and always try and seek it out.


Terpineol is a rarer terp, and is only found in the Jack Herer strain or any of its descendants. As well as 150 other non-weed plants. This terpene has a very attractive and flowery scent, with a hint of pine, as its name suggests. Various medicinal qualities stem from it, including acting as a mild sedative, an anti-inflammatory, tumor killer, and an anti-depressant. Herer and the strains in its family are on the pricier side because they are so magically medicinal, so if you find them at a good price (or at all), make sure to snatch them up!

Terpenes are the awesome (and sometimes not so awesome) scents and tastes from your weed. Enjoy!